smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Markus Krötzsch-2
Hi,

On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
...
>
> PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
> switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>

Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning the
transition. The key question is:

  Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?

To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a grid
framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we could
offer both skins alongside each other.

Markus


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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
In reply to this post by James HK


------ Forwarded Message ------
From: "Tom Hutchison" <[hidden email]>
To: "Markus Krötzsch" <[hidden email]>
Sent: 10/21/2014 12:02:10 PM
Subject: Re[2]: [Semediawiki-user] [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the
"old" Vector skin?

>On 10/21/2014 3:49:08 AM, "Markus Krötzsch"
><[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>Hi,
>>
>>On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
>>...
>>>
>>>  PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
>>>  switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>>>
>>
>>Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning
>>the
>>transition. The key question is:
>>
>>   Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?
>>
>>To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a
>>grid
>>framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
>>(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
>>well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we
>>could
>>offer both skins alongside each other.
>Of course anything is possible, the question to answer, is it
>practical? There would be a need to add Bootstrap CSS and/or JS to the
>Vector skin.
>
>What is at odds is the design aspect of the page content. "Mobile
>first" is the new catch phrase of today. Vector isn't "mobile first" so
>the two skins will always be at odds with each other from day one.
>Bootstrap 3 is mobile first as compared to Bootstrap 2. There will be a
>need to strike a balance, how far do you take the actual content(wiki
>markup) layout for each skin? DIV containers will have to become the
>norm for wrapping pieces of page content if you want to take advantage
>of mobile responsiveness. Even MW MobileFrontend has this, mf
>selectors.
>
>There is also the issues of MW's core using tables for some of its
>output. SpecialPages isn't to bad since it is 2 columns. Category pages
>are a different story because they output in a 3 column table. Another
>consideration is the HTML sanitizer in MW core. Frameworks require some
>sanitized HTML tags and IMHO MW is behind because the sanitizer is
>stripping out valid, safe HTML5 tags.
>
>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their
>strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness both will share, will an
>update cause backward compatibility issues.
>
>Just my thoughts.
>
>Tom
>
>
>[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground
>[1] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Main_Page
>[2] http://responsive.vermilion.com/compare.php


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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Stephan Gambke-2
FWIW, I'd see responsiveness as a nice bonus. From the first mail I did not
get the impression that it was a hard requirement.

Regarding the result formats being displayed in a mobile friendly way, I'd
see that as the result format's task. In fact, in particular the examples
on the help pages should be shown as they are without highly sophisticated
formatting applied. Everything else would mean to deceive the user.

And, since "mobile first" is indeed the new catch phrase, the new smw.org
being in principle mobile friendly might actually get result format
developers to think in that direction as well.

Regarding Bootstrap coexisting with Vector I got mixed results in the past.
There are several issues. First, I have never actually tried to use the
Bootstrap extension without a dedicated skin. It should work, but probably
not without some fixes. Then there is the issue of running MW's Less
compiler in parallel to the one used by Chameleon. Again, in principle it
should work. Finally there is the issue of commonly named HTML classes
between Vector and Bootstrap.  I don't have an example right now, but I am
sure that there are some overlaps. However, it could well be that the
result still looks acceptable.

Lots of uncertainties, but I'd be willing to work on them, not least
because they are not only relevant for smw.org, but in principle for any
wiki using Chameleon.

Cheers,
Stephan
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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

James HK
In reply to this post by Tom Hutchison
Hi,

>>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their

The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
the Vector skin. The Chameleon skin and its required Bootstrap
extension deploy unit tests [0] (I admit I sweet talked Stephan a bit
to make it happen) so we are able to run tests over the MW life-cycle
to see whether functionality is broken for a recent MW version.

The current MW skin infrastructure can not standalone and therefore
requires the usage of a specific interface in order to harmonize with
MW hence the unit tests to verify that the interface is working as
expected.

[0] https://travis-ci.org/wikimedia/mediawiki-skins-chameleon

Cheers

On 10/22/14, Tom Hutchison <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> ------ Forwarded Message ------
> From: "Tom Hutchison" <[hidden email]>
> To: "Markus Krötzsch" <[hidden email]>
> Sent: 10/21/2014 12:02:10 PM
> Subject: Re[2]: [Semediawiki-user] [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the
> "old" Vector skin?
>
>>On 10/21/2014 3:49:08 AM, "Markus Krötzsch"
>><[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>>Hi,
>>>
>>>On 21.10.2014 03:51, James HK wrote:
>>>...
>>>>
>>>>  PS: As far as I understand, the user of smw.org would be able to
>>>>  switch to the "old" Vector skin as registered user.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Let me come back to this, since this is also important for planning
>>>the
>>>transition. The key question is:
>>>
>>>   Can we use Bootstrap components independent of Chameleon?
>>>
>>>To make the in-page content fully responsive, we will need to use a
>>>grid
>>>framework like the one in Bootstrap. Many other nice components exist
>>>(tabs, carousels, etc.). If it is possible to use these with Vector as
>>>well as with Chameleon, then the transition is much easier and we
>>>could
>>>offer both skins alongside each other.
>>Of course anything is possible, the question to answer, is it
>>practical? There would be a need to add Bootstrap CSS and/or JS to the
>>Vector skin.
>>
>>What is at odds is the design aspect of the page content. "Mobile
>>first" is the new catch phrase of today. Vector isn't "mobile first" so
>>the two skins will always be at odds with each other from day one.
>>Bootstrap 3 is mobile first as compared to Bootstrap 2. There will be a
>>need to strike a balance, how far do you take the actual content(wiki
>>markup) layout for each skin? DIV containers will have to become the
>>norm for wrapping pieces of page content if you want to take advantage
>>of mobile responsiveness. Even MW MobileFrontend has this, mf
>>selectors.
>>
>>There is also the issues of MW's core using tables for some of its
>>output. SpecialPages isn't to bad since it is 2 columns. Category pages
>>are a different story because they output in a 3 column table. Another
>>consideration is the HTML sanitizer in MW core. Frameworks require some
>>sanitized HTML tags and IMHO MW is behind because the sanitizer is
>>stripping out valid, safe HTML5 tags.
>>
>>I have done a lot of work on the Foreground Skin[0] over the past year.
>>Some may know it is already used on WikiApiary[1] using SMW as well
>>many other wikis using SMW or not. Foreground uses Foundation instead
>>of Bootstrap, here is a good comparison[2]. Each framework has their
>>strengths and weaknesses. The biggest weakness both will share, will an
>>update cause backward compatibility issues.
>>
>>Just my thoughts.
>>
>>Tom
>>
>>
>>[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground
>>[1] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Main_Page
>>[2] http://responsive.vermilion.com/compare.php
>
>
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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

thingles
> On Oct 21, 2014, at 3:05 PM, James HK <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
> the Vector skin.

I couldn’t agree more with the above statement and I’m excited about this conversation. I think Semantic MediaWiki adopting a new skin with a modern look & feel and modern features would be a nice change and allow Semantic MediaWiki to better show it’s capabilities. In my limited experience whenever people see Vector they think Wikipedia (for good reasons, one of the largest and greatest sites on the Internet). When I show people my sites using Foreground they have a different reaction, largely positive and pleasing.

As one of the maintainers of Foreground along with Tom let me take a moment to advocate for using Foreground. Let me be very clear that I have nothing negative to say about Chameleon. I haven’t used it myself so I can’t speak to it’s advantages or weaknesses. I admire that it uses Travis-CI and has unit tests as well as it’s support for composer, both things that are on our backlog for Foreground.

Foreground is built on the Zurb Foundation framework. As such it has a feel similar to Foundation. It uses the Foundation grid, and brings with it nearly all of Foundations capabilities. Foreground has gained a good amount of traction. According to WikiApiary there are 48 wikis using Foreground as their *default* skin [1] and 174 wikis in total have Foreground installed. This makes it the 7th most popular skin used on MediaWiki sites [2]. The Foreground project on GitHub has gathered 30 stars along with 8 contributors and 54 closed pull requests [3].

Foreground also has an active wiki that highlights itself, this can be enhanced by anyone to further document it’s capabilities [4]. There is also a relatively active mailing list for Foreground [5] (although the archives are currently broken on the web).

I believe key to Foreground’s continued success are some of the wikis using it. WikiApiary is built on Foreground and uses Semantic MediaWiki extensively, the 2nd largest Semantic MediaWiki site online [6] (as tracked by WikiApiary which we know there are at least 2 very large Semantic MediaWiki sites not tracked, so make it 4th). WikiTranslate also uses Foreground as does the Joomla Documentation wiki [7].

Also importantly Foreground CSS has actually been modified to deal with many Semantic MediaWiki result formats and Semantic Forms fields as well.

Again, take all this as one of the maintainers of Foreground advocating for it’s use and not against other options.

Thanks for reading and for considering!

Jamie


[1] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Skin:Foreground <https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Skin:Foreground>
[2] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Skin:Skins <https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Skin:Skins>
[3] https://github.com/thingles/foreground <https://github.com/thingles/foreground>
[4] http://foreground.thingelstad.com/wiki/Main_Page <http://foreground.thingelstad.com/wiki/Main_Page>
[5] http://lists.thingelstad.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foreground-l <http://lists.thingelstad.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/foreground-l>
[6] https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Semantic_statistics <https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/Semantic_statistics>
[7] http://docs.joomla.org <http://docs.joomla.org/>

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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

thingles
In reply to this post by Tom Hutchison
On Oct 21, 2014, at 12:21 PM, Tom Hutchison <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The biggest weakness both will share, will an update cause backward compatibility issues.

As you all think through this skin change I do think it’s worth highlighting this issue. The traditional idea in MediaWiki of a user choosing their own skin falls apart if you move to a theme that fully supports a CSS grid. Historically MediaWiki sites tend to use tabling for layout (ugh) and in order to make things responsive you need to use the CSS grid. Once doing this, your markup will have div’s and classes in it that Vector doesn’t support. This makes things really wonky if you try to use Vector.

As an example, see:

https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/WikiApiary <https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/WikiApiary>

https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/WikiApiary?useskin=vector <https://wikiapiary.com/wiki/WikiApiary?useskin=vector>

This is also why the install directions for Foreground actually specify the directions for disabling other skins.

When I switched WikiApiary to Foreground from Vector there were a couple of users that tried to continue to use Vector by selecting that as their preference, but it just doesn’t work.

There is a philosophical item here. I’m fine specifying the skin/theme for the site and think that the benefits are worth removing the users right to change the skin. Just worth noting.

Jamie


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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
In reply to this post by James HK


On 10/21/2014 3:05:36 PM, "James HK" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>Hi,
>
>The Foreground and Chameleon skin both have dedicated advantages over
>the Vector skin. The Chameleon skin and its required Bootstrap
>extension deploy unit tests [0] (I admit I sweet talked Stephan a bit
>to make it happen) so we are able to run tests over the MW life-cycle
>to see whether functionality is broken for a recent MW version.
>
>The current MW skin infrastructure can not standalone and therefore
>requires the usage of a specific interface in order to harmonize with
>MW hence the unit tests to verify that the interface is working as
>expected.
Both[0][1] can be found under the 2.0 Milestone[2] for the v2.0 release
of Foreground. :)

Tom

[0] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/issues/124
[1] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/issues/123
[2] https://github.com/thingles/foreground/milestones/2.0


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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Chris Koerner
In reply to this post by James HK
I agree with David Mason, while there are advantages to using Chameleon,
there are also disadvantages that should not be dismissed. I would strongly
urge us to reuse existing work and tie ourselves closer to the MediaWiki
'brand' - not move further from it.

First, don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of work has been done with regards
to Vector from both a usability and technical aspect. It is the de facto
standard interface to MediaWiki. SMW is a sub-set of MediaWiki (one does
require the other). We should keep this in mind and piggyback on
its familiarity and leverage existing work and focus.

This applies not only to Vector, but to MobileFronted as well. Grab a
tablet or smartphone and take a look at a wiki using it. It's great and is
only continuing to get better. There is a small army of people behind it.

Second, WMF is also pushing toward more unified design between Vector,
MobileFrontend, and VisualEditor (and more I'm sure - see Flow, Echo,
Winter). While VisualEditor is wrought with controversy within WMF and
related properties, it is admittedly a grand step in a easier to use
interface to MediaWiki. Something that SMW can benefit from as well. I run
a small scale semantic wiki setup at my employer - editing interfaces make
a big difference in user contribution.

Moving away from WMF-like design is going to make places where we do co-opt
interfaces seem kludgy and disjointed.

We should, instead, move our interfaces *toward *WMF Design
<https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/>. Grow that usage along side our
own!

Standing out and trying to be different is a bold movement. It will not be
easy and we will be on our own. That doesn't seem to be in the spirit of
things. We should be inclusive, borrow from our neighbors, give back where
we can, and reinforce that SMW is a way to make MediaWiki different - some
say better :) - but familiar.


Yours,
Chris Koerner
clkoerner.com
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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

James HK
Hi,

> First, don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of work has been done with regards
> to Vector from both a usability and technical aspect. It is the de facto
> standard interface to MediaWiki. SMW is a sub-set of MediaWiki (one does

SMW will not dismiss these efforts but MediaWiki and its sponsor (the
WMF) have a particular use case in mind (supporting the Wikipedia
eco-system) which I'm sure is a unique objective and therefore bearing
a different focus then most of the SMW users will encounter.

> Second, WMF is also pushing toward more unified design between Vector,
> MobileFrontend, and VisualEditor (and more I'm sure - see Flow, Echo,
> Winter). While VisualEditor is wrought with controversy within WMF and
> related properties, it is admittedly a grand step in a easier to use
> interface to MediaWiki. Something that SMW can benefit from as well. I run

SMW-core itself is independent from any design specific elements that
MW deploys including VE. If one extension in the SMW-eco system
requires adaptation to a certain design element then this is an issue
of that particular extension and not closely related to SMW-core.

As far as I understand VE requires Parsoid [0] which again requires
some experienced administrator [1] (whether that remains so in future
I don't know).

> This applies not only to Vector, but to MobileFronted as well. Grab a
> tablet or smartphone and take a look at a wiki using it. It's great and is
> only continuing to get better. There is a small army of people behind it.

The last time I tried to install MobileFrontend was rather cumbersome
together with its infrastructure requirements [2] made it not easier
and was rather time consuming to work with.

In the end the user decides in what kind of environment s(he) wants to
use SMW whether with Vector and MobileFrontend, a different skin, or
as a fully customized website.

> Moving away from WMF-like design is going to make places where we do co-opt
> interfaces seem kludgy and disjointed.

We are not moving away but SMW needs to define its own identity within
different campaigns that are currently moving forward. Having a
website that represents its position in a slightly more modern layout
can help to distinguish its mission [3].

> We should, instead, move our interfaces *toward *WMF Design
> <https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/>. Grow that usage along side our
> own!

Design and aesthetic are not easy to come by and I don't think that
for the current discussion anyone was thinking about a specific
SMW-grid or style guide. The current discussion was about smw.org [4]
to use a skin with a well established grid (Bootstrap) in order to be
more responsive to its users (the users of smw.org not SMW-core
itself).

[0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:VisualEditor#Setting_VisualEditor_up
[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid/Setup#Before_you_begin

[2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:MobileFrontend/Configuring_browser_auto-detection

[3] "Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) to turn your wiki into a powerful and
flexible knowledge management system." including other objectives such
as being easy to use, easy to install, and to have a broad net of
supporting extensions that allows different use cases.

[4] smw.org = https://semantic-mediawiki.org/

Cheers

On 10/23/14, Chris Koerner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I agree with David Mason, while there are advantages to using Chameleon,
> there are also disadvantages that should not be dismissed. I would strongly
> urge us to reuse existing work and tie ourselves closer to the MediaWiki
> 'brand' - not move further from it.
>
> First, don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of work has been done with regards
> to Vector from both a usability and technical aspect. It is the de facto
> standard interface to MediaWiki. SMW is a sub-set of MediaWiki (one does
> require the other). We should keep this in mind and piggyback on
> its familiarity and leverage existing work and focus.
>
> This applies not only to Vector, but to MobileFronted as well. Grab a
> tablet or smartphone and take a look at a wiki using it. It's great and is
> only continuing to get better. There is a small army of people behind it.
>
> Second, WMF is also pushing toward more unified design between Vector,
> MobileFrontend, and VisualEditor (and more I'm sure - see Flow, Echo,
> Winter). While VisualEditor is wrought with controversy within WMF and
> related properties, it is admittedly a grand step in a easier to use
> interface to MediaWiki. Something that SMW can benefit from as well. I run
> a small scale semantic wiki setup at my employer - editing interfaces make
> a big difference in user contribution.
>
> Moving away from WMF-like design is going to make places where we do co-opt
> interfaces seem kludgy and disjointed.
>
> We should, instead, move our interfaces *toward *WMF Design
> <https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/>. Grow that usage along side our
> own!
>
> Standing out and trying to be different is a bold movement. It will not be
> easy and we will be on our own. That doesn't seem to be in the spirit of
> things. We should be inclusive, borrow from our neighbors, give back where
> we can, and reinforce that SMW is a way to make MediaWiki different - some
> say better :) - but familiar.
>
>
> Yours,
> Chris Koerner
> clkoerner.com
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Semediawiki-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/semediawiki-user
>

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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Fannon
Let me throw in one oppinion more :)

I've worked with both Bootstrap and Foundation - and I think both are
fine choices as the basis of a theme. I do have a slight preference
toward Foundation, since it does not have so much "stylistic oppinion"
as Bootstrap. A lot of websites are looking like Bootstrap and thus
Bootstrap has a rather "used" or "standard" feeling. But that can of
course be changed through further customization.

Since both have a rather default appeareance, it would be a good thing
to have something stand out. I agree with @Chris Koerner here: A lot
of thought went into the current Vector skin, maybe there are some
aspects to "save" over to a more modern theme?

Going responsive has a lot of implications. Consider the current
Result Formats, Tables, Semantic Forms or Images. I think all of these
are not optimized toward responiveness and it would be a lot of effort
to do so. An Example: Right now Semantic Forms has its layouting
happening through tables which doesn't fit well with responsiveness.
Making Semantic Forms responsive would not be an easy task, since it
should definitely have no dependencies on a specific theme or
responsive grid layout.

And some elements like big table are difficult to scale to mobile
layouts by nature. To sum up: I'm not sure if going responsive is an
easy thing to do now. To do this in consequence, this has to be an
initiative that comes from MediaWiki / SemanticForms itself. I
remember that this was a big issue when Drupal 8 decided to go fully
responsive down to the core, not just the themes on top. But if it
works out, a responsive theme is a great thing to have!

But even if responsiveness does not work out for SMW, a grid system would be a
very useful thing to have, especially nested ones like Bootstrap of
Foundation. This would make Dashboards, Overviews, Widgets etc. much
easier to place and style. It is possible to remove the responsiveness
from both themes - or make them just fluid like Vector is right now (a
rather bad choice, especially from a typographic viewpoint, imho).

Simon

2014-10-22 21:16 GMT+02:00 James HK <[hidden email]>:

> Hi,
>
>> First, don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of work has been done with regards
>> to Vector from both a usability and technical aspect. It is the de facto
>> standard interface to MediaWiki. SMW is a sub-set of MediaWiki (one does
>
> SMW will not dismiss these efforts but MediaWiki and its sponsor (the
> WMF) have a particular use case in mind (supporting the Wikipedia
> eco-system) which I'm sure is a unique objective and therefore bearing
> a different focus then most of the SMW users will encounter.
>
>> Second, WMF is also pushing toward more unified design between Vector,
>> MobileFrontend, and VisualEditor (and more I'm sure - see Flow, Echo,
>> Winter). While VisualEditor is wrought with controversy within WMF and
>> related properties, it is admittedly a grand step in a easier to use
>> interface to MediaWiki. Something that SMW can benefit from as well. I run
>
> SMW-core itself is independent from any design specific elements that
> MW deploys including VE. If one extension in the SMW-eco system
> requires adaptation to a certain design element then this is an issue
> of that particular extension and not closely related to SMW-core.
>
> As far as I understand VE requires Parsoid [0] which again requires
> some experienced administrator [1] (whether that remains so in future
> I don't know).
>
>> This applies not only to Vector, but to MobileFronted as well. Grab a
>> tablet or smartphone and take a look at a wiki using it. It's great and is
>> only continuing to get better. There is a small army of people behind it.
>
> The last time I tried to install MobileFrontend was rather cumbersome
> together with its infrastructure requirements [2] made it not easier
> and was rather time consuming to work with.
>
> In the end the user decides in what kind of environment s(he) wants to
> use SMW whether with Vector and MobileFrontend, a different skin, or
> as a fully customized website.
>
>> Moving away from WMF-like design is going to make places where we do co-opt
>> interfaces seem kludgy and disjointed.
>
> We are not moving away but SMW needs to define its own identity within
> different campaigns that are currently moving forward. Having a
> website that represents its position in a slightly more modern layout
> can help to distinguish its mission [3].
>
>> We should, instead, move our interfaces *toward *WMF Design
>> <https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/>. Grow that usage along side our
>> own!
>
> Design and aesthetic are not easy to come by and I don't think that
> for the current discussion anyone was thinking about a specific
> SMW-grid or style guide. The current discussion was about smw.org [4]
> to use a skin with a well established grid (Bootstrap) in order to be
> more responsive to its users (the users of smw.org not SMW-core
> itself).
>
> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:VisualEditor#Setting_VisualEditor_up
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Parsoid/Setup#Before_you_begin
>
> [2] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:MobileFrontend/Configuring_browser_auto-detection
>
> [3] "Semantic MediaWiki (SMW) to turn your wiki into a powerful and
> flexible knowledge management system." including other objectives such
> as being easy to use, easy to install, and to have a broad net of
> supporting extensions that allows different use cases.
>
> [4] smw.org = https://semantic-mediawiki.org/
>
> Cheers
>
> On 10/23/14, Chris Koerner <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I agree with David Mason, while there are advantages to using Chameleon,
>> there are also disadvantages that should not be dismissed. I would strongly
>> urge us to reuse existing work and tie ourselves closer to the MediaWiki
>> 'brand' - not move further from it.
>>
>> First, don't reinvent the wheel. A lot of work has been done with regards
>> to Vector from both a usability and technical aspect. It is the de facto
>> standard interface to MediaWiki. SMW is a sub-set of MediaWiki (one does
>> require the other). We should keep this in mind and piggyback on
>> its familiarity and leverage existing work and focus.
>>
>> This applies not only to Vector, but to MobileFronted as well. Grab a
>> tablet or smartphone and take a look at a wiki using it. It's great and is
>> only continuing to get better. There is a small army of people behind it.
>>
>> Second, WMF is also pushing toward more unified design between Vector,
>> MobileFrontend, and VisualEditor (and more I'm sure - see Flow, Echo,
>> Winter). While VisualEditor is wrought with controversy within WMF and
>> related properties, it is admittedly a grand step in a easier to use
>> interface to MediaWiki. Something that SMW can benefit from as well. I run
>> a small scale semantic wiki setup at my employer - editing interfaces make
>> a big difference in user contribution.
>>
>> Moving away from WMF-like design is going to make places where we do co-opt
>> interfaces seem kludgy and disjointed.
>>
>> We should, instead, move our interfaces *toward *WMF Design
>> <https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/>. Grow that usage along side our
>> own!
>>
>> Standing out and trying to be different is a bold movement. It will not be
>> easy and we will be on our own. That doesn't seem to be in the spirit of
>> things. We should be inclusive, borrow from our neighbors, give back where
>> we can, and reinforce that SMW is a way to make MediaWiki different - some
>> say better :) - but familiar.
>>
>>
>> Yours,
>> Chris Koerner
>> clkoerner.com
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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Krabina Bernhard
In reply to this post by James HK
> We are not moving away but SMW needs to define its own identity within
> different campaigns that are currently moving forward. Having a
> website that represents its position in a slightly more modern layout
> can help to distinguish its mission [3].

I cannot agree more!

Vector is a great skin and the default MW-skin will always be a nice choice for many SMW powered sites. But this is first and foremost the question how www.semantic-mediawiki.org should look like and it certainly should not look like every other wiki around. Making another skin als default for semantic-mediawiki.org will be an important step as it throws attention to the chosen default skin (which is a good thing).

I cannot comment on the technical details, but I am certain the WMF will always (by nature) have Wikipedia in mind in their user interface considerations, which is perfectly fine and will always be important for many SMW sites. But as SMW boosts MW usage to other areas, even ones where SMW installations should not be regarded a wiki or wikipedia related at all, it is about time to make this transition also visible an semantic-mediawiki.org.

cheers,
Bernhard

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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Chris Koerner
This is where maybe I'm confused.

If I go to SMW.org today and look around at documentation and examples I'll
see Vector and SMW together. It will look a lot like my own MediaWiki
installation. If I click download and install SMW on my own wiki will I
still see something very similar to what I just saw as both are using
Vector.

In the future will my wiki look different because SMW either a) installed
Chameleon on my wiki as part of SMW or b) looked different at SMW.org than
what I see on my own wiki because I'm using Vector? Will inline queries,
results, forms, etc look different between the two skins?

Or am I just making this bigger than it needs to be!? SMW.org will have a
different look (similar to say WordPress.org and Drupal.org not looking
exactly like the software they provide) and that's the end of it.


Still, I ask, why not make SMW-related improvements to Vector, et. al. and
use the existing community, people, and work from WMF? Seems smarter than
striking out with an new, framework/skin and starting from a much rougher
beginning.

It might not be much to those ingrained in the technology and community,
but if what I see when I download and install is different than what I saw
as the official site and/or demo that does create a bit of dissonance.

While WMF ≠ MediaWiki ≠ SMW there is much to be shared and made consistent
- not always to the benefit of the developers or system admins, but to the
end users.


Yours,
Chris Koerner
clkoerner.com

PS MobileFrontend is a simple install. No bizarre dependencies. With humor
is say it easier to install than smw. :)

VisualEditor is a bit more involved, yes I agree. Both MobileFrontend and
Vector, along with MediaWiki itself, Flow, Echo, etc. are moving to a
unified style. Here's an example covering a single UI element - buttons.
https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/desktop/section-2.html#section-2.1

We should try to make the experience seamless.
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Re: [SMW-devel] smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Krabina Bernhard
> In the future will my wiki look different because SMW either a) installed
> Chameleon on my wiki as part of SMW or b) looked different at SMW.org than
> what I see on my own wiki because I'm using Vector? Will inline queries,
> results, forms, etc look different between the two skins?

b)
we haven't talked about a) yet, but it's actually a quite nice idea to have another option than vector pre-bundled.

> Still, I ask, why not make SMW-related improvements to Vector, et. al. and
> use the existing community, people, and work from WMF? Seems smarter than
> striking out with an new, framework/skin and starting from a much rougher
> beginning.

because vector will never have the flexibility needed for building custom skins that make your SMW site not look like wikipedia

> It might not be much to those ingrained in the technology and community,
> but if what I see when I download and install is different than what I saw
> as the official site and/or demo that does create a bit of dissonance.

if you download drupal or wordpress it also looks different than their websites

> PS MobileFrontend is a simple install. No bizarre dependencies. With humor
> is say it easier to install than smw. :)
>
> VisualEditor is a bit more involved, yes I agree. Both MobileFrontend and
> Vector, along with MediaWiki itself, Flow, Echo, etc. are moving to a
> unified style. Here's an example covering a single UI element - buttons.
> https://tools.wmflabs.org/styleguide/desktop/section-2.html#section-2.1
>
> We should try to make the experience seamless.

you are right, all these efforts are highly appreciated by SMW and will be important in the future, but still, we need to
a) provide good skinning options for SMW sites, whatever reason the have for not wanting the default mw skin
b) provide a more professional and product-like look for semantic-mediawiki.org

b) is the main reason why we talk about this but this raises of course many questions also for a)

There is one exeption, though: if you can promise that all the styling efforts of wmflabs will be available as default in, say, 6 months and there will be a possilility of customizing the styling elements as well as menu options (e. g. drop down menus), then it might be worthwile to wait...

cheers,
Bernhard

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Re: smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

kghbln
In reply to this post by James HK
Heiya,

well, smw.o needs a new skin in any case and it must be an individual
one. Since the very last update of MediaWiki (all active branches) it is
no longer possible to apply sidewide CSS or JS via
"MediaWiki:Common.css", "MediaWiki:Common.js" or via the respective skin
specific pages for any skin (popular examples include Vector, MonoBook,
etc). So far smw.o has made heavy use of these pages. Thus whatever skin
is chosen it must have the capability to provide CSS and JS via another
method. Imho to have a consistent appearance on all pages is most important.

Cheers Karsten

Am 16.10.2014 um 19:52 schrieb James HK:

> Hi,
>
> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
> MW/SMW in different environments.
>
> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>
> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
> appearance.
>
> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>
> Cheers
>
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Re: smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Mark A. Hershberger-4
In reply to this post by James HK
> Since the very last update of
> MediaWiki (all active branches) it is
> no longer possible to apply sidewide
> CSS or JS via 
"MediaWiki:Common.css",
> "MediaWiki:Common.js" or via the
> respective skin 
specific pages for any skin

Could you clarify what you mean here?If I understand what you're claiming, then such changes would cause an enormous uproar on many Wikipedia sites since they rely on the customizations that they make on MesiaWiki:Common.css/js for the sites.

Just to be clear, I'm not against changing the skin on SMW.com, but I'm pretty sure I've mis-interpreted you.

Mark.

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Re: smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
In reply to this post by kghbln


> On Oct 24, 2014, at 4:50 AM, [[kgh]] <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Heiya,
>
> well, smw.o needs a new skin in any case and it must be an individual
> one. Since the very last update of MediaWiki (all active branches) it is
> no longer possible to apply sidewide CSS or JS via
> "MediaWiki:Common.css", "MediaWiki:Common.js" or via the respective skin
> specific pages for any skin (popular examples include Vector, MonoBook,
> etc). So far smw.o has made heavy use of these pages. Thus whatever skin
> is chosen it must have the capability to provide CSS and JS via another
> method. Imho to have a consistent appearance on all pages is most important.

Ouch and double ouch. That's not a smart move IMHO.

That makes customization a much harder hurdle to jump for non devs.

Tom

>
> Cheers Karsten
>
>> Am 16.10.2014 um 19:52 schrieb James HK:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm calling for some opinions on replacing the "old" Vector skin on
>> smw.org with something fresh. Stephan in his relentless pursuit of
>> making MediaWiki more usable to non-Wikipedia users created the
>> Chameleon skin [0] which seems more suitable to those who want to use
>> MW/SMW in different environments.
>>
>> SMW no longer tries to be a product that seeks to fulfil requirements
>> from either WMF or Wikipedia to be used as encyclopaedic semantic
>> content management (that's now the job of Wikidata/Wikibase) therefore
>> using the "Vector" skin somehow appears to be outdated by trying to
>> look like the good old Wikipedia site.
>>
>> Furthermore, MW 1.24 (to be released soon) made some changes on how
>> skins are deployed [1] and it might be a good time to say farewell to
>> the "old" skin and rediscover SMW's identity by changing its
>> appearance.
>>
>> [0] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Skin:Chameleon
>> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki_1.24#Skins_no_longer_loaded_after_upgrade.3F
>>
>> Cheers
>>
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Re: smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

kghbln
In reply to this post by Mark A. Hershberger-4
Heiya Mark,

not really, I'm afraid. All special pages which allow for the user to
enter his or her password do no longer serve the CSS and JS added. Since
this includes e.g. "Special:Login" or "Special:Preferences" which are
integral to a wiki user, it is imho pointless to continue using
"MediaWiki:Common.css/js". This is obviously less apparant on wikis of
the WMF farm since they tend to only manipulate the content area, but on
many other wikis the situation is very different ... smw.o is among
them. An example of a wiki you yourself also use is WikiAPIary.com [1].

Currently a way I see is to create a custom skin forked from e.g. Vector
which serves this code directly from the server or to have a skin which
optionally allows to add custom CSS easily via the server without having
to fork it. The latter is probably the much better and preferable
solution.  There is a bug on this [2] but it ended up in being a meta
discussion. Besides, I am not objecting the underlying security rationale.

Cheers Karsten

PS Yeah, community disaster already unfolded on a couple of wikis I know.

[1] https://wikiapiary.com/w/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin
[2] https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=71621

Am 24.10.2014 um 23:59 schrieb Mark A. Hershberger:

> > Since the very last update of
> > MediaWiki (all active branches) it is
> > no longer possible to apply sidewide
> > CSS or JS via
> "MediaWiki:Common.css",
> > "MediaWiki:Common.js" or via the
> > respective skin
> specific pages for any skin
>
> Could you clarify what you mean here?If I understand what you're
> claiming, then such changes would cause an enormous uproar on many
> Wikipedia sites since they rely on the customizations that they make
> on MesiaWiki:Common.css/js for the sites.
>
> Just to be clear, I'm not against changing the skin on SMW.com, but
> I'm pretty sure I've mis-interpreted you.
>
> Mark.
>

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Re: smw.org to replace the "old" Vector skin?

Tom Hutchison
That is a totally borked rational IMO.

They are worried about patching a security hole on a sysop rights namespace? What is next? Limiting the number of pages on a wiki? That hole should be back burner, lowest setting possible unless there is something they aren't telling us.

Thanks for the heads up.

Tom
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